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Community Resilience Archives

Friends of the Earth Q&A on Carbon Pricing

Tuesday, September 23rd | 6pm | Cultivate | Admission: by voluntary donation

Panel includes:  Richard Bruton, T.D. (Finance Spokesperson, Fine Gael), Joan Burton, T.D. (Finance Spokesperson, Labour), Senator Dan Boyle (Finance Spokesperson, Green Party), Sean Fleming, T.D. (Chairman Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Fianna Fail)

Chair: Harry Mc Gee, Irish Times

Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions are rising, not falling. Should we put a price on carbon now?

Read more: Friends of the Earth Q&A on Carbon Pricing

Dublin Culture Night

Friday 19th of Sept | Cultivate Open Until 10pm

Shop until 10pm; Tour Cultivate's Learning Garden at 6.00pm;  Watch the first two episodes (20 min. each) of The Powerdown Show, Cultivate's new TV show, in the spectacular main hall (Ss. Michael & Johns) repeating until 10pm.     

Cultivate’s Powerdown TV Show is a series of ten twenty minute programmes which includes interviews with Richard Douthwaite of Feasta, Rob Hopkins of Transition Towns, George Monbiot, author of 'Heat' and Guardian journalist and many other leading thinkers in the fields of Climate Change and Peak Oil. The shows also include other interesting segments such as animation which will both inform and entertain and comedy sketches which take a slightly different look at the issues and include such characters as the Oil Junky, the Eco-Preacher and the Peak Beer Party People.

Enjoy Episode 1 - 'The Challenge Ahead' and Episode 2 - 'The Power of Community.'

Enjoy cultural activities all over town until late!  See

Sustainable Transport Solutions Seminar

Slow down, Go further!

Thursday 18th September | 9:30am - 2pm | Butler House, Kilkenny | €20, light lunch

Coinciding with EU Mobility Week and in co-operation with Kilkenny County Council, this seminar for local businesses and concerned citizens will examine sustainable transport solutions.

Organised by Future Proof Kilkenny in cooperation with the Kilkenny County Council environmental awareness officer.

Contact Paul Brennan, 056 4440593 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Future Proof Kilkenny (see Read More...)

Read more: Sustainable Transport Solutions Seminar

Skilling Up for Powerdown Weekend Workshop

Training for Leadership and Resilient Communities 

A weekend intensive: Friday to Sunday 24th - 26th October | Cultivate Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin | €250 Including light lunches on weekend | Booking 01 6745773 | Fri 19.30 - 22.00 / Sat 9.30 - 18.00 / Sun 10.30 - 16.30

The Powerdown Weekend Workshop uses the same sequence of learning, interactive activities and media as the 10 week course Cultivate have developed and delivered over the last year.. The weekend is designed as an intensive course to appeal to community leaders with an existing knowledge of the issues and a need to deepen their understanding, network with other practitioners and build capacity to facilitate change.

Using short presentations, case studies, games, discussions and multimedia, participants explore the following themes:

  • The Challenges Ahead – Climate, Energy and Sustainability
  • The Power Of Community – Social Capital, Resilience and the Local Economy
  • It’s All Connected - Whole Systems Thinking and Permaculture
  • Rethinking Energy – Conservation, Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology
  • Getting Around - Transport and Mobility
  • Deconstructing Dinner - Food Miles, Trade and Food Systems
  • Shelter - Future Proofing Our Homes and Buildings
  • Energy Descent Pathways - Post Carbon Cities, Transition Towns and Eco Villages
  • Global Citizenship - Opportunities for Change
  • Where Do We Go From Here? – Communication and Livelihoods

Read more: Skilling Up for Powerdown Weekend Workshop

Permaculture Weekend Workshop Tutored by Graham Strouts

6th / 7th September | Kildare Steiner School | €90 

Attention community powerdown network and budding transition town groups!  This workshop may help in your transition town title process. Graham Strouts is Ireland's leading permaculture expert, and is the coordinator of the Practical Sustainability course at Kinsale Further Education College. All are welcome.  For more details and booking contact Kate Park, FADA, 05991 62867

Exploring Transitions ? an 8 week exploratory series

Dominican Ecology Centre |

Tuesdays starting 16 September | 8 - 9.30pm

This series is inspired by the international Transition Movement  that looks at how we prepare for the changes we need to make in response to climate change and rising fuel costs.  It is an action of the fledging Wicklow Transition Network Group and was created as a collaboration between An Tairseach, Dominican Ecology Centre, Wicklow Town and Carraig Dúlra Living Skills Bank, Glenealy, Co. Wicklow, and with the advice and support from the Cultivate Centre, Dublin.

Its aim is to help create leaders in the community that will be catalysts to Transition Movements, wherever they live.

For further info contact Suzie on: 086 8069289

Help Make Croke Park Carbon Neutral

Register online to pledge. 

The GAA and ESB are working together to make Croke Park a cleaner, greener stadium. We need your help to reach our target - so please pledge! Pledges include not overfilling your kettle or taking the train to Croke Park instead of driving.  Every pledge you make brings us closer to making Croke Park a carbon neutral stadium. Even if you just commit to turning off lights when you leave a room. You will be saving money plus helping to save the environment.

Feeding the Future Conference

Saturday & Sunday 25th & 26th October | 11am to 5.30 pm | Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Castlebar, Co Mayo | Info/booking: website / 087 6714075

A 2-day conference examining food security in post-peak oil Ireland

Presentations, workshops, Q & A sessions, evening film session, information, books & DVDs for sale, networking opportunities

Famine is not only a 3rd world issue!

Topics include:  The Global Food Crisis: A 2008 Perspective; Implications of Fossil Food Depletion; The Increased Risks from GMOs; We've Been Here Before; Supply Chain Collapse; Re-Inventing Agriculture; Seeds, Nuts and Grains; Post-Oil Meat Production; Community Food Initiatives; Strategic Planning for Food Security

Cost:  Special concessionary rate to general public: €5 per day | Organisations requiring receipted invoices: €50 for one day  €75 for both days | CPD certs available at small additional cost

Organised under the auspices of the Sustainability Institute, Corrig Sandyhill Westport Co. Mayo


Funding Available for Community Food Initiatives

Healthy Food for All and Safefood are establishing a Demonstration Programme on Community Food Initiatives and are looking for funding applications from eligible groups and organisations. The purpose of this funding is to establish a Demonstration Programme of Community Food Initiatives (CFIs) on the island of Ireland. Between five and seven CFIs will be funded over a three year period. Each CFI will receive annual funding over a period of three years to set up, manage and sustain a project. Funding will be up to a maximum of €75,000 (£60,000) provided on an incremental basis over the three year period.

CFIs are projects that improve the availability and accessibility of healthy food for low-income groups at a local level, using a community development approach.

Read more: Funding Available for Community Food Initiatives

Housing clusters can get green grant

Further information: SEI’s website  | 1850 927 000

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan has announced that Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is now inviting applications for the ‘Cluster Housing’ phase of the Government’s Home Energy Saving Pilot Scheme.

Grants of up to €2000 per household are now available to clusters of five or more houses for energy improvements such as insulation and heating controls. The objective of the cluster element is to demonstrate the economies of scale that are achievable when a group of homeowners co-operate on the installation of common energy saving measures.

The Home Energy Saving Scheme was announced by Minister Ryan in April of this year and is already well under way in three separate geographic areas, North Tipperary, Limerick/Clare, and Dundalk, with over 1000 homes currently participating. These areas are testing the response when people participate on an individual home basis. The next phase of the pilot scheme is to test the response of groups of homes, and it is this ‘Cluster’ phase, open to all parts of the country, which SEI is now inviting applications for.

Read more: Housing clusters can get green grant

Recession could have a silver lining for us and planet

Stress, excess and environmental damage are just some things we might usefully jettison in leaner times, writes Breda O'Brien.

ROB HOPKINS, in his new book, The Transition Handbook - from Oil Dependency to Local Resilience, has a humorous analogy that might have some relevance for our looming recession.

He says that persuading people to change is like inviting a reluctant friend to come with you on holiday. "Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world's least desirable holiday location - some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast - and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and psychology are all wrong."

However, Hopkins may be too kind in his description of the picture that environmentalists paint. Rather than a seedy B&B, it is more like a holiday on the last remaining ice-floe with a starving and agitated polar bear. Environmentalists want to alert the world and shake it out of its complacency, and yet, at the same time, it is all too easy to reduce people to fatalistic passivity.

Read more: Recession could have a silver lining for us and planet

Transition Initiative Castleblayney

Saturday July 19th, 10.30 am – 1pm

Transition Town Castleblayney & Castleblayney Community Enterprise present ‘A Journey through Time - From the Distant Past to a  Future Full of Hope for Castleblayney’. Workshop led by Mary Kate Hagan & Liam Murtagh in Castleblayney Community Enterprise Centre 

Sit back and relax as you are taken on this fascinating journey up to the present and then put on your thinking cap as we look at  a future fifty years from now - with a lot less oil and new challenges.  A question we will look at is:  ‘What is a ‘transition town’ and what are the benefits for ’Blayney’s future by  becoming a transition town’?

All are welcome: Attendance is free of charge.  Details / Booking: Contact:  Enterprise Centre tel 042 9746087


Mary  Kate Hagan trained in the US and runs workshops throughout Ireland as well as managing an ecological project in Bundoran.  Liam Murtagh from Castleblayney is involved nationally in the transition town  movement and is interested in Castleblayney  becoming a ‘Transition Town’ in response to the challenges of peak oil and climate change.

Sunday July 20th, 2 - 5pm

Blayney in 2050: Family Fun Events at Hope Castle /Lough Muckno – anyone can join in for free.  ‘Hunting for a New Way:’ Treasure Hunt with Prizes – involves a short walk / stroll around Hope Castle and Market Square.  ‘My Vision of Blayney in 2050:’ Painting Competition with Prizes – held under a canopy  and materials supplied.

Irish Transition Gathering at the Green Gathering

irish green gathering 2008 There is to be an Irish Transition Gathering held on the Sunday at the Irish Green Gathering which runs from the 8th to the 10th of August in Woodbrook House, Enniscorthy. The Transition Gathering will run from noon and will feature short presentations and facilitated networking activities. If you are involved in a Transition process or are interested in getting one started in your community do come along.

This day has been planned with  the aim of giving you as many opportunities as possible to hear from and speak with other people who are working with the Transition model in their communities, as well as offering you access to other resources aimed at helping you get what you need to make things happen in your community.   

The Green Gathering
will be 2008's greener, cleaner, low budget, non-profit, family festival with only the best local and organic food and drink, loads of interesting eco discussions, stalls and films, a lovely woodland healing area with therapists, dancers, a chai tent, and a music line-up showcasing the best of Ireland's young bands on several stages, including: GIVEAMANAKICK * FRED * CHANNEL ONE * LARGE MOUND * JINX LENNON * CORA VENUS LUNNY

Tickets are now on sale for the second Irish Green Gathering and can be bought on line or by phone - see   for details. 3 day weekend camping tickets cost €65. Day tickets at €25 will be sold at the gate. Children 13 and under free. Gates open at 6pm on the Thursday and the festival closes when the music stops on the Sunday evening.

Read more: Irish Transition Gathering at the Green Gathering

The Powerdown Show

The first two programmes of The Powerdown Show produced by Cultivate is piloting on Dublin Community TV which is launching this week.

Cultivate’s Powerdown TV Show is a series of ten twenty minute programmes that aim to inform individuals and groups on the context and responses to climate change and peak oil. The programmes follow the same themes as Cultivate's Community Powerdown course and will be both educational and entertaining.

The series includes interviews with Richard Douthwaite of Feasta, Rob Hopkins of Transition Towns, George Monbiot, author of 'Heat' and Guardian journalist and many other leading thinkers in the fields of Climate Change and Peak Oil. The shows also include other interesting segments such as animation which will both inform and entertain and comedy sketches which take a slightly different look at the issues and include such characters as the Oil Junky, the Eco-Preacher and the Peak Beer Party People.

Read more: The Powerdown Show

Transition Ireland Network - July 2008

cafe_discussion2.jpg  A Transition Ireland Network meeting will take place this Saturday, 19th July, at Cultivate in Temple Bar, Dublin. If you are involved in Transition or considering it you are very welcome to attend.

It will begin at 1.00 on Saturday with a preview of the first two episodes of Cultivate’s Powerdown Show. This is a ten part TV show on how we build community resilience in the face of climate change and peak oil. The first two shows explore the challenges ahead and the power of community and feature Richard Douthwaite, Rob Hopkins, Megan Quinn and many others.

The second item on this meeting’s agenda is the formation of a steering committee for the Irish Transition Network.

We will also be exploring activities for the national Transition Gathering taking place on the Sunday at the Irish Green Gathering which runs from the 8th to the 10th of August in Woodbrook House, Enniscorthy. For full details see

If we don’t see you on Saturday, we hope to see you at the Green Gathering,


Balbriggan Transition Initiative

The first meeting of Balbriggan In Transition took place on 28th June 2008 in the Town Hall at 2pm. The meeting attracted 60 people from near & far (New York but not just for us) to hear about the concept of Transition from Davie Philip of Cultivate. Davie gave a Transition presentation, outlining the key drivers behind Transition Initiatives (Peak Oil & Climate Change) and community responses available to mitigate the effects. There then followed a Q&A session where terms like resilience & sustainability were explained and defined in the Transition context. The Minister for Food & Horticulture, Trevor Sargent then gave a local context to Transition by explaining that Balbriggan was once a self sufficient town and that it could and should be once again.

The attendees were then asked to form small groups (of about 6 people) and write up the front page of a Balbriggan newspaper for the date 28th June 2018. There were some interesting interpretations on the theme, most of the groups however conveyed a message of a localised future. There were articles about wave/tide power, seaweed, farmers markets, biofuels and bicycles. At the end of the meeting some of the attendees stayed behind to register their interest in getting involved in setting up a Transition Group in Balbriggan. 

For further detail, see the Balbriggan In Transition page on Facebook or call 087 4176541 / 01 8900360.

photo: Ciaran Finn 

Comber Transition Initiative

Hello all, after much spreading of the word, and continuous encouragement from all your activities, we in Comber have a start, a first event in the offing warming up for an August wave (after 12th of July celebrations).

The ecological footprint banner idea (personal favourite):  We will have display board with 10 ways to improve your ecological footprint each of a different colour.  The public choose 1 or more and putting bare feet in associated colours place their footprint on a prepared banner, a physical mark of their commitment to change. The banner is covered in footprints of all shapes, sizes, and colours.  In the middle of each section is the 'Transition Towns' logo. Afterwards people wash or have their feet washed by Comber TT individuals and further discuss the ideas of climate change and peak oil. We will gather names and hope this will lead to a group gathering post summer.  We can record main areas of interest and see what to move forward with.  The banner will be taken as part of Comber migration of Brent Goose festival from Comber Square to Castle Espie (local WWT centre about 3 miles away) by lots of walkers and cyclists involved in the festival and TT in September.

Now I will go camping for 3 weeks with my family and will return energised!

Thanks, Rachael Ludlow-Williams

Holywood Transition Initiative

News from holywood: We had a second public meeting (again on local food) and have now pinned down a list of individuals tackling different aspects of local food post peak. We are a quietish summer but some events planned later:

1) Stall at the Saturday market with a cow as an eye-catcher to pull people in to a guessing competition about how much oil it takes to get the cow to market, etc.

2) Sit down local food celebration in September for about 200 in one of the polytunnels of the local box-scheme organic farm for an opportunity to taste local food, party and hear someone from outside speaking about transition town (speaker to be confirmed).

3) Mid October film and discussion on local energy use and resources.

4) Mid November launch of local livlihoods working group attempting to look at the vulnerability of some pilot local businesses to oil.

Read more: Holywood Transition Initiative

Midleton Transition Initiative

Hello from Midleton, I feel like the 'Midleton Jury' at Eurovision! But well done for all the inspiring ideas and here is what we (still a small group) are up to:

1. Stall at Midleton Food and Drink festival in September to promote local food production

2. Allottments working group to identify if demand exists and then to locate site

3. Our Big One: November 15th seminar on 'Feeding East Cork post cheap Oil'  with speakers Colin Campbell ASPO, Darina Allen and one other to be arranged.

4. Following this up with a visit from Simon Snowden of Liverpool University who works on business' oil vulnerablity. I just risked emailing him and he agreed so maybe when he is in Ireland he could visit other groups too? Anyone interested contact me and I'll try to coordinate something (with his agreement).

Also, our local Development Association asked us to fill out an Indicative Actions plan looking for funding for a facilitator for 4 years under the rural development programme so say a prayer for us please.

Thanks to you all for your continued inspiration, Grace

Queen?s University Transition Towns Workshop

Report of Transition Towns Workshop held 25th June, 2008

As part of the Queen’s University MSc Leadership for Sustainable Development group project, we organised a Transition Towns workshop, providing information on the problems of climate change and the imminent peak oil crisis, the Powerdown course and Transition Towns.

There were 16 participants at this workshop, which included academics, students and also people that just want to find out more about this issue. Sarah McCully, one of the three group project students, began by giving a brief introductory to the evening’s event.

Davie Philip, Education Manager at Cultivate Centre, gave an overview of the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change and outlined Cultivate's Powerdown course and exhibition.  Davie also outlined the Transition Town movement and talked more in depth about The Village project.


Read more: Queen?s University Transition Towns Workshop

Funding and Transition

Here is an idea for all emergingLA21.jpg Transition initiatives in Ireland. You can apply for funding in the region of €1,500 from the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund 2008 which is administered by your local environmental awareness officer.

In a brief discussion with Pat Fleming from Clonmel we came up with this idea. If you act quickly enough this could be a runner.  A number of us apply to our own county councils with the same application for a Local Food Directory with a focus on reducing food miles and waste.

This could include an area of say 30 miles around your Transition Initiative and list farmers markets, farm shops, community gardens, food co-ops, slow food groups, artisan food producers, gourmet food shops, whole food shops,food education, veg restaurants etc etc.  Further capital could be raised by putting in a few ads from local food companies.  We could share design costs and keep it in house with Future Proof Kilkenny or Sustain West Cork being employed to lay out a template....

Read more: Funding and Transition

Wicklow Town Transition Towns Initiative

Report of Information Session on Tuesday 27 May in The Dominican Ecology Centre, Wicklow Town.

Welcome: Marian O’Sullivan welcomed all present and explained briefly the background to the gathering. Transition Towns, begun in Kinsale by Rob Hopkins, is an initiative to help local communities plan ahead for a time when fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas will be very expensive and scarce as well. Ireland is very dependent on imported fossil fuels which would leave us very vulnerable in the event of a crisis. The alternative is to build local resilience, growing our own food instead of importing 90% of it as at present, encouraging energy-saving initiatives and  promoting local sustainable businesses. Marian then introduced Davie Phillips of the Cultivate Centre in Temple Bar, the facilitator for the afternoon.

Presentation: Using many very telling graphics Davie pointed out that oil discoveries peaked in 1964 and that oil production has peaked or is about to peak now.  With demand growing exponentially prices will inevitably soar and there will be shortages. Instead of waiting for doomsday we need to put systems in place that will help us to cope.  In so doing we will learn that life after oil can be as good if not better because people will lead healthier lives, become involved with their communities and spend less time stuck in their cars.

Read more: Wicklow Town Transition Towns Initiative

Eco - Village Site Visits

June 27th - 29th | 11am, 3pm, 6pm each day | Cloughjordan Eco-Village 

“The Village will serve as a model for sustainable living into the 21st century and will serve as an education, enterprise research and service resource for all.”

The development of the Eco-Village on a 67-acre farm adjoining Cloughjordan in North Tipperary includes community allotments and an extensive area for woodland and wildlife, an enterprise centre, community buildings, a market square, a hostel and shops.  After several years of planning, site works are now complete with the first homes being built later this summer. There are some sites left, but they are expected to be sold out soon. Becoming a member of The Village offers an opportunity to live in a unique community with a superb quality of life.

During the Cloughjordan festival, there will be tours of the ecovillage site on Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th at 11am, 3pm and 6pm each day.

Check out the festival programme at or details of the Village at

Clonmel/South Tipperary Transition Initiative

Pat Fleming writes:  Following the Convergence Strategies Conference I was all fired up as I returned home to Clonmel and only looking for an opening with anyone to spread the 'Transition' virus. The following day I bumped into an acquaintance MM a senior lecturer in Tipp Institute in sustainable energy, who was looking for something new in his work to re-ignite his passion. Four meetings later along with four cups of coffee, we had put together the launch programme for the Clonmel Transition Initiative – two film screenings using Tipp Institutes excellent resources and four 'lunchbox' presentation events.

We have now had three events, all very successful with up to 80 individuals participating at one or all of the events – 40 on the first night, then 50 on the second evening [with plenty of new faces], and up to 25 at the first lunchbox, again with some new faces.

Read more: Clonmel/South Tipperary Transition Initiative

Transition Evening at Queens

25th June | 6 - 9pm | Peter Froggatt Centre Room 211 - Queens University 

As part of the Leadership for Sustainable Development group project we are holding an information evening on transition towns, peak oil crisis, climate change and the powerdown course. It will be a relaxed fun evening with guest speakers Davie Philip, John Barry and a the powerdown course exhibition.

Everyone welcome!!

If you need any more information or have any questions don't hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or book a space by contacting Fiona Chan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community Leadership in a Post-Carbon Era

Waterford Institute of Technology will offer a course entitled "Community Leadership in a Post-Carbon Era" from September 2008.  12 weeks, one evening per week, leading to Fetac Level 1.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.

This is a course for those who are leaders or want to lead communities towards viable new ecologically sustainable urban and rural systems. The twin challenges of peak oil and global climate change require new skills and knowledge to build community resilience.  This course aims to do that, using selected inputs including film, current data, case studies and toolkits for action.  It is based on the Transition Town Model, which strives to empower people to deal with change in a positive way.  Participants are invited to use a self-directed learning approach and to strive towards using the skills learnt within their own communities and networks to deliver real outputs and results.


Kildare in Transition: Life Today Café

Peak Oil   Climate Change   Where Are We Going? 

Thursday June 26th |  8pm |  Aras Brid, Kildare Town

If you would like to discuss the future of community, climate change, the environment, inflation or just the price of oil, come along

Refreshments and interesting conversation guaranteed!

FADA’s objective is to help create and maintain a vibrant, diverse, secure and sustainable community by fostering ingenuity through local projects and positive action

For more information contact Theresa at 086 1590529


Northerners: Switch to Renewable Energy

Customers of Northern Ireland Electricity can select to have your electricity from Renewable sources and it doesn't effect your bill.
It's a very simple online process:  Click here

Most of our electricity is made by burning fossil fuels like gas, oil and coal in local power stations. This produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which causes climate change. However Eco Energy is NIE Energy's alternative source of green electricity and for every unit of electricity you use in your home we will buy an equivalent amount of power from a local 'renewable' supplier such as a wind farm.

Rethinking the Future - Kilkenny

Rethink #3 Beyond oil (and coal and gas…)

Thursday 26th June 8pm

Richard Heinberg is one of the world’s foremost educators on peak oil and author of the seminal work “The Party’s Over”. Beginning with a recap on peak oil this ‘Rethink’ will feature a documentary interview with Heinberg examining resource depletion and how local responses can help ease the transition to a post-fossil fuel world.


Phone/Text: 087 7682912

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Download 'Rethink the Future brochure here (1MB)


Sustainability Journal

The third issue of Sustainability is  a snapshot of the rapidly changing world we live in. Lead articles cover a diverse range of subjects including food security, economic meltdown, the expansion of the rail and canal networks, dealing with waste, communicating sustainability,  and an appraisal of the  national energy strategy 2008-2020. There are also features on renovation, air-tightness and building standards in housing, paint-making, feminism and sustainability, textiles,  the environment and taxation , the 'humble spud', and horsepower. A two page special commentary looks at the recently published Transition Handbook and  the development of the Transition movement in Ireland.

Sustainability Vol 3 is available by post from the Sustainability Institute, Corrig, Sandyhill, Westport, Co. Mayo,  price 7.00 euro including postage, or from selected retail outlets in Ireland (including Cultivate) price 6.50.

See or phone 087 6714075 for more details.

Eco-building Workshop in Natural Insulating Plaster

Monday 16th June | 3.00pm | Bourke’s Hardware Borrisoleigh

This workshop featuring a presentation by Mr. Marcus McCabe of Hempire Building Ltd, is open to the public.

It is because of growing public interest in ‘eco-building’ that local businessman, Philly Bourke, has been developing a partnership arrangement over the past six months with several suppliers in order to bring together a range of ecological home and garden products at Bourke’s Hardware,  A basic principle of ecological building is simply to have our homes sufficiently insulated and so allow for a more efficient use of energy in the heating of houses – common sense in a time of rising energy prices.  However, the cost of ‘traditional’ insulating material is also rising rapidly.

With this in mind, Marcus McCabe began researching the most viable forms of insulation available, which may be produced in Ireland and have minimal impact on the environment. The Hempire team were to discover that industrial hemp and lime plaster mix, a technique practiced since at least the 5th century but forgotten in recent times, offers the best solution in the Irish climate conditions.

Read more: Eco-building Workshop in Natural Insulating Plaster

A Sustainable Development Plan for Meath


At a time when oil has reached $126 per barrel and is predicted to reach $200 per barrel within 2 years, the policy of building a four lane, tolled motorway, the M3, through the heart of Meath must be questioned for its practicality and value for money.

The Meath MASTER Plan proposes a community-centred, better value alternative to the M3. The plan provides for a transport network firmly based on Rail, and Coach services which will take upto two-thirds of journeys off the N3 national road. This will both reduce C02 emissions from transport in Meath and allow for the replacement of the M3 with a road project of much more realistic scale in the Swedish 2+1 format. More importantly it will greatly improve quality of life for Meath people by allowing them to easily work and live in their county instead of being forced to commute to Dublin everyday.

Local employment will be provided via transport, education and tourism opportunities in the UNESCO World Heritage Park proposed for the region. This Heritage Park will encompass the main heritage sites of the Tara and Boyne Landscapes, Trim, Kells, Teltown and others with heritage cycling trails connecting all sites including reconstructions of those in the Gabhra Valley. 

Please come to show your support for a real "Quality of Life" solution for the people of Meath, that can reduce their dependence on oil and also protect the valuable heritage of Tara and it surroundings.

For information on the sustainable development plan for Meath see 

 For details of the march to support the plan see below. 

Read more: A Sustainable Development Plan for Meath

Transition Ireland Network

By Graham Strouts Zone 5 

irish transition network.jpg


On Saturday the 5th of April at the Powerdown Symposium at Cultivate saw the inaugural meeting of people from around Ireland interested in starting a Transition process in their town. More than 60 people attended the meeting with a dozen or more towns represented.

The main meeting was lead by Ben Bragwyn co-founder of the UK Transition Network who spoke about the origins of the concept and took us through the 12 Steps to Transition. Davie Philip will co-ordinate the network here through the Cultivate Centre.

Read more: Transition Ireland Network

Transition Town Kenmare

This post is by Graham Strouts from his excellent Zone 5 blog


There was a great turn out for the first meeting to start the Transition process in Kenmare, Co. Kerry, which took place Thursday night May 1st at the Brooklane Hotel.

The meeting was organised by Oonagh Comerford who did a great job in inspiring people to come out. I gave a short talk about Peak Oil, the Kinsale college and permaculture, and how the Energy Descent Plan came to be written, sowing the seeds for the Transition network in the UK and now Ireland. We also watched an Australian documentary Four Corners- Peak Oil? which includes a trip to Ballydehob and an interview with Colin Campbell. It was great to see a thicket of hands go up when I asked how many had home gardens.

Kenmare is clearly well placed and ahead of the game in that respect. And there is already a small group who have started a community garden so congratulations all for that. Discussions during the meeting included asking how much land precisely would each person need to feed themselves- “five acres and a cow” was one response- to what might we substitute for wheat as supplies decline. There will be a follow-up meeting on June 4th when the film The Power of Community- How Cuba Survived peak Oil will be shown -we promise!

Community Resilience Planning

caution.gifThe ideas from Richard Heinburg’s recent Muse Letter, ‘Resilient Communities: A Guide to Disaster Management’   and his presentation at the fantastic Positive Energy   event in Findhorn last month could be worth us exploring here in Ireland. 

His proposals aim to help make communities better able to respond to the coming economic shocks, climate shocks and from resource depletion.

 "Resilience: The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy; the ability to absorb shocks."

Richard is inspired by Naomi Klein's recent book, ‘The Shock Doctrine’, which outlines how business leaders and politicians seize the opportunity of disasters, war, and economic upheavals to introduce their dodgy economic and social policies that in normal circumstances would be rejected. Crisis therefore equals opportunity for those who are prepared to seize the day. He states ‘unless sensible plans to manage disaster are formulated and put forward now, the opportunity afforded by crisis will be hijacked by a familiar cast of characters.’

He of course tips his hat to Transition and mentions David Fleming’s work as well as our friends at RESET .

This could be very appropriate for our work. Your thoughts appreciated!

News from FADA ? The Newbridge Transition Group

fada.gifFADA Newbridge organised a free Energy Workshop in Ryston Social Centre on Saturday 12th of April. The event was organised in order to assist local people in Newbridge on choosing suitable alternative and sustainable energy systems such as wood pellet boilers, solar panels for water heating as well heat pumps. These cheaper alternative heating systems to oil and gas are becoming particularly relevant considering the rising costs of both fuels over the past year.

See below for a report  on this workshop and news on a weekend permaculture course in Newbridge with Graham Strouts.

Read more: News from FADA ? The Newbridge Transition Group

Community Gardens

community_garden.jpgAs one of the visible projects of transition initiatives are community gardens lets explore what they are. Community gardens transform unused spaces in our towns and cities into green vibrant spaces. They are normally collaborative projects created by members of the community; residents share in both the maintenance and the harvest of the garden. The simple act of planting a garden can create positive environmental, economic, and social impacts on a neighborhood. Community gardens foster cultural understanding and an awareness of the environment around us.

Here is a report on a recent fundraiser for Kinsale Transition Town’s community garden and news on a new garden initiative in Wicklow.


Read more: Community Gardens

Integrated Area Planning

tipperaryinstitute.jpgTipperary Institute will host a day-long conference and book launch on Integrated Area Planning (IAP) on Monday 26th May 2008. The IAP Conference, which will be free of charge, will take place in the TI Conference Centre in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

This conference will explore the idea that planning for rural areas is a multi-faceted process that ideally should address all aspects of rural community life; that should seek to have regard to the needs of all sectors of society including the marginalised; and that should make more use of participatory processes.

Read more: Integrated Area Planning

A Crude Awakening - the Oil Crash

crude.jpgA shocking wake-up call that is set to do for energy what Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ did for the environment, A CRUDE AWAKENING is an urgent warning that the age of abundant oil is over.  Featuring testimonies from the world’s top experts, this startling documentary reaches an ominous yet logical conclusion – the Earth’s oil supplies are peaking, threatening our ill-prepared, fossil-fuel addicted civilization with a crisis of global proportions.

Highlighting the critical need for sustainable alternative energy sources, Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack’s startling documentary is an intelligent and utterly compelling call to action.

Released tthrough Artificial Eye, it is now available to UK and Irish residents at the following site:


Holywood Transition Town

Holywood Transition Town Group (Northern Ireland not California) invites you to a showing of “Power of Community”, an inspiring film about one island community’s response to food production when their fuel supply ran out.

cuba_film.jpgThis documentary film explores the economic collapse and eventual recovery of Cuba following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Following the dramatic steps taken by both the Cuban government and citizens, its major themes include urban agriculture, energy independence and sustainability.

Afterwards, join the discussion on where our food might come from as fuel prices continue to rise and climate change threatens crops.

 Film Show and Discussion on Local Food

Holywood Library, at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 14th May
Everyone Welcome. Refreshments Served!
Contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Transition Town Kinsale - Spring fair

A report by Klaus Harvey

Also see Graham Strout's report on zone5

ttk_springfair2.jpg On Saturday 29th March Transition Town Kinsale and Kinsale Tidy Towns joined forces and held TTK’s second Spring Fair. Whereas last year’s event was located at the College of Further Education, it was decided that this year the fun should be shared with everyone in the town, so public liability insurance obtained, we moved the bulk of the Fair to Short Quay, the Temperance Hall in the town centre with some events still taking place at the College. The day began with heavy clouds and hard rain, but by the time the first stalls were being set up for the market, the sun had broken through and spirits were lifted.


Read more: Transition Town Kinsale - Spring fair

Minister's Opening Speech at Convergence Symposium

Opening of the 2008 Convergence Symposium. 5th April 2008
Skilling Up for Powerdown by Minister for the Environment, John Gormley.

This is the text of Minister John Gormley’s opening address that the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government sent us over. Unfortunately he strayed form his script a little on the day so his interest in funding Transition initiatives in Ireland is not included here. 


John Gormley Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

I am delighted to be here this morning to open the 2008 Convergence Symposium: Skilling Up for Powerdown. 

Cultivate must be congratulated for putting together an impressive programme and list of speakers. The Symposium is part of the Cultivate Convergence Festival, which kicked off on Thursday with Daniel Lerch’s ideas on “Rethinking the City for an Uncertain Future” and continued yesterday with the “Rethinking the City Conference”.  I am pleased to see that the Convergence Festival does not actually “converge” in Dublin but also extends out to Cloughjordan where a series of events takes place on Monday outlining a practical response for Ireland to oil depletion and climate change. 

Read more: Minister's Opening Speech at Convergence Symposium

Global Lunch Box ? Future Proof Kilkenny

Future Proof Kilkenny, who are promoting the transition concept in the south east are hosting an innovative series of informal lunchtime talks and workshops entitled the ‘Global Lunch Box’. These will explore local responses to the global uncertainties of climate change and peak oil.

front-peak-oil.jpgLunchbox #1 Peak Oil Primer!
Thursday 8th May 13:10

Oil prices are rising and people are beginning to ask ‘will we ever run out?’ The truth, of course, is that we started to run out when the first barrel came out of the ground. Peak oil, however, is the moment in time when global supply reaches an all time high and then goes into decline. That time is round about now, and, as demand outstrips supply this will have a dramatic impact on the global economy and our way of life. Featuring a short documentary on the history of oil, this ‘lunchbox’ will explain peak oil, why it is such an important issue, and what positive opportunities this crisis may bring.

Read more: Global Lunch Box ? Future Proof Kilkenny

FADA Newbridge

FADA is a network set up by volunteers, mostly from Co Kildare, preparing communities for peak oil by focusing on the localisation of the economy. It was formed after the Energy Forum, an event discussing peak oil organised in April 2006 by the Newbridge Integral Philosophy Group.

FADA’s objective is to help create and maintain a vibrant, diverse, secure and sustainable community by fostering ingenuity through local projects and positive action.

As a start, FADA Newbridge has been set up as a pilot branch in Newbridge to work towards the group’s objectives in the local area. It is envisaged that similar groups will be set up in other parts of Co Kildare and will be able to utilise the experience gained from FADA Newbridge.

Thursday 10th April 2008
Screening of 'The Power Of Community'
7.30 Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge

Admission Free

Read more: FADA Newbridge

Cloughjordan - A Village in Transition

village_logo.jpgOn the 7th of April as part of the Convergence festival a number of events will be held in Cloughjordan, home of the eco-village.

These will be held in the Parochial Hall on Step Road and will feature local as well as international speakers.

14.00 – 17.00 Rural Transitions Open Space: “How will our towns and villages reduce carbon emissions and build resilience in an era of climate and energy uncertainty?”

18.00 – 19.30 Vital Viewing: The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

A screening opened by Megan Quinn

20.00 – 22.00 Public Presentation: Cloughjordan, a Village in Transition

Local, national and international speakers on how Cloughjordan can prosper in an era of climate and energy uncertainty.

Organised by the Cultivate Centre with Sustainable Projects Ireland, the Cloughjordan Business Network and SERVE (Sustaibale Energy In Rural Village Environments)

Also at Cloughjordan

Cloughjordan Experience Days For Anyone Interested in Finding Out More About  The Eco-Village

Read more: Cloughjordan - A Village in Transition

Future Proof Kilkenny

front-peak-oil.jpgFuture Proof Kilkenny (FPK) was established to facilitate and initiate education and information regarding the issues of Climate Change and Energy Decent.

Global warming and energy resource problems can be tackled at local level with each community rising to the challenges. FPK aims to work with and for the Kilkenny local communities in helping to implement changes necessary to cope with powering down our energy consumption.

Housing, Planning & Urban Design for a Sustainable Future
Butler House, Kilkenny, April 1st, 10am to 4pm

This seminar will be of interest to city planners, policy makers, architects, developers, builders and other professionals. It will explore the ‘Why?’ and the ‘How?’ of the changes needed in our current policies and practices to meet our obligations to reduce our carbon footprint and energy consumption.

To reserve your place, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 056775211

This event is being organised by the Klikenny Sustainable Energy Forum in conjunction with Future Proof Kilkenny and with the support of the Kilkenny County Council and Cultivate Centre.


Bike Maintenance

Workshop with Aisling Mathews



This class is for absolute beginners and no prior knoledge of bike maintenance is needed; it will cover puncture repairs, tuning brakes and gears, and checking bike fit and setup.


It will be in a hands-on format, so it is best that people bring their own bikes, and any tools that they might have.


Available Places: 8

Date: Sunday 11th May 2008

Running time : 1pm to 5.00pm

Cost: €25.00

Bike Maintenance - NEW DATE!

Workshop with Aisling Mathews


Saturday 14th June 2008 |  1pm to 5.00pm | €25.00 




This class is for absolute beginners and no prior knowledge of bike maintenance is needed; it will cover puncture repairs, tuning brakes and gears, and checking bike fit and setup.


It will be in a hands-on format, so it is best that people bring their own bikes, and any tools that they might have.

The Convergence Symposium : Skilling Up For Powerdown

Saturday 5th April 9.30–17.00 & Sunday 6th April  11.00-17.00 

€120 (Includes a light lunch on both days)

Talks, workshops and World Café discussions on how we communicate and accelerate community responses to oil depletion and climate change

With: John Gormley (Minister for the Environment), Daniel Lerch (Post Carbon Institute, USA), Megan Quinn (Community Solution USA), Ben Brangwyn (Transition Network UK), Paul Allen (Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales), Jonathan Dawson (Global Eco Village Network), Anne B Ryan (Maynooth University), Graham Strouts (Zone 5), Professor Peadar Kirby (University of Limerick),  Davie Philip (Cultivate Centre), Tim Helwig Larson (Public Interest Research Centre, UK), Seamus Hoyne (Tipperary Institute), Adam de Eyto (IT Carlow), Magnus Wolfe-Murray, RESET, UK), Bruce Darrell (FEASTA), Dave Yaffey (UK), Pat Fleming (Ireland), Chris Chapman (Ireland), Oisín Coghlan (Friends of the Earth) and David Korowicz (FEASTA)


Read more: The Convergence Symposium : Skilling Up For Powerdown

Rethinking the City 2008

‘De-carbonising Our Urban Environment’

Friday 4th April 2008 | 9.00 - 17.30 |  €150  | Cultivate | Dublin | Bookings 01 674 5773 or OnlineDetails & registration form

An exploration into how cities can respond to climate change and energy uncertainty


Supported by Dublin City Council, Comhar (the National Sustainable Development Council) and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

Rethinking the City will present the issues, outline some of the priorities for change, and introduce tools for effective engagement in building sustainable cities. 

Full schedule and biographies found below (click '

Read more: Rethinking the City 2008

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